The Los Angeles Clippers formally introduced their newly acquired power duo of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George Wednesday, with ever-excited team owner Steve Ballmer leading the cheers to welcome the pair.
“You don’t think we can win some ball game this year with Paul and Kawhi on our team?” Ballmer bellowed in his typical exuberance.
He led cheers to start the news conference held at the Green Meadows Recreation Center in South Los Angeles, site of a newly renovated Clipper Community Court basketball facility. Ballmer yelled into the podium microphone, telling everyone in the room to get on their feet and cheer to welcome the highly coveted players to the Clippers.
Ballmer hailed the duo, and said while the team will definitely win some games, “We need to win the last game played during the NBA season. That’s the game we’ve gotta win.”
Leonard, a 6-foot-7-inch, 28-year-old small forward, was born in Los Angeles and attended Canyon Springs High School in Moreno Valley, Martin Luther King High School in Riverside and San Diego State University. George, 29, was born in Palmdale and attended that city’s Knight High School.
“I’m extremely excited, extremely happy to be back home,” said George, who spent the past two seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
He noted that he was playing with the Indiana Pacers when the team drafted Leonard.
“It just seems like this was destined,” George said. “We (were) supposed to play together. So thank you.”
He added, “We going to make it happen. L.A. our way.”
Leonard, who was arguably the most coveted player during the NBA off-season, has twice been named most valuable player of the NBA Finals, including this year with the champion Toronto Raptors.
“I’m on my next journey,” Leonard said. “These guys, I think we’ve got a great future. Paul is always a player I wanted to play with.”
He also said he wonders what might have happened if both had remained in Indiana when he was drafted.
“But we’re here together in L.A., both Southern Cal guys,” he said. “… Now we on the Clippers and it’s just, I think we’ve got something special. We can make history here. We’ve got the right team to do it. … I’m excited.”
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